Active Music Listening Tuesday March 4, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 171
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 114
Not good music: 50

Honorable Mentions: 0
Buys: 0

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, All Pigs Must Die, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Cage the Elephant, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, Xiu Xiu, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, Temples, The Whammies

@@@ Ernst Reijseger: Down Deep (Winter and Winter, 2013).  An interesting world music/improvised record I found at the blog Bird is the Worm.  Instrumentation is piano, cello, and vocals thus far.  The first piece is downtempo and beauteous with a strong African vibe.  A gent named Mola Sylla, from Senegal, is the main singer.  Sylla plays some traditional African stringed instruments on the second tune, M’br, further solidifying the world music/improvisation split.  The record is lush and slow which produces a brunch-y feel.  I like a bit more muscle to both my jazz and my African records.

@@@ Anna Webber: Percussive Mechanics (Pirouet Records, 2013).  Another Bird is the Worm best of 2013 jazz pick.  I’m trying to chew through some of these end of year lists I have opened all over my browser.  The first tune, Dan:Ce is uptempo and the instrumentation is vibes, horn, flute, electric piano and drums.  I have no one sheet for this record, but the drums are very high in the mix and the record is by Webber so I’m guessing she’s the drummer.  The feel is part fusion/part straight jazz.  She’s a good drummer, a very good drummer, and her energy/playing is the main attraction here.  Okay the Youtube has corrected me once again, Anna Webber is the sax player, but everything else I’ve written remains the same.  The drummer is hot.

@@@ Joe Louis Walker: Hornet’s Nest (Alligator Records, 2014).  A power chord blues record I found on the All Music weekly email.  Walker surely can play and sing the blues but myself I prefer the thinner old school BB King guitar sound — when you put too much of rock tone into your blues record it doesn’t work for me.  I don’t dislike the record, but I would rather listen to an old Howlin’ Wolf record, or one of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s records, or Sweet Tea by Buddy Guy.  You been recommended yo.

@@@ Yellow Ostrich: Cosmos (Barsuk, 2014).  A lo-fi record off the All Music weekly email.  The first tune, Terrors, is a bit Beach Boys and a bit Dirty Projectors.  The record has a sort of lost/washed out sound due to healthy doses of reverb — that appears to be a trend amongst psych/lo-fi folks.  The second tune, Neon Fists, strongly evokes OK Computer era Radiohead.  I’m usually a big hater on the indie music, but this record while not making me jump up and down is much more about music than it is about trends and poses.

@@@ Forest Swords: Engravings (Triangle Records, 2013).  Another pick off the Quietus’ best of 2013 list.  The first tune, Ljoss, is a mopey indie electronic tune — dark dark dark, as if you’ve been lost in the forest.  There is a voice in that tune, but it’s not intelligible and lends more mystery to who got lost in the forest and why.  Maybe this metaphor isn’t workable.  I’m afraid this is not year end/best of year material for me, but check it out if you like dark indie electronic.

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